For purely economic loss, no duty of care is the rule, and duty of care is the exception applied only in situations where the Biakanja factors, as modified in Bily, permit imposition of a duty of care. This is to be distinguished from cases in which some personal injury or property damage is caused in addition to economic loss. When personal injury or property damage is caused, a duty of care is the rule, and no duty is the exception applied only when the Rowland factors lead to a conclusion that no duty should be imposed. In this case, businesses in an area surrounding the Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles sued for lost profits as a result of the evacuation of residents due to a gas leak from defendant’s storage facility. The decision holds that defendant owed the businesses no duty of care to prevent economic loss to them as defendant had no contractual or other special relationship with them and the gas leak had caused them only economic loss.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Five (Dunning, J.); December 15, 2017; 2017 WL 6398546.